Roger Goodell Under Fire Again! The Houston Texans Jam A Finger In Their Boss’ Eye! Baseball Caught Using Baby Oil Baseballs! Draymond Green Punished Less Than Others In Incident!
Oh, and the nation is still on fire.
But at least the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have hit and maintained their stride.
After two essentially identical games – both lopsided defeats in the rain – the two teams are essentially bereft of hope and emanate that feeling to their bewildered customers.
The Raiders were manhandled in Buffalo, getting some meaningless passing yards for Derek Carr’s fantasy holders but little else in a game that rekindled all the suspicions that most of the NFL punditocracy had for them at the beginning of year.
The 49ers are, well, the 49ers – seeking while blindfolded where trying to suss when their full-on hell-plummet ends and earth’s crust begins.
But the difference between 3-5 and 0-8 should suggest a complete lack of similarities between the two teams, when in fact they are in many ways a lot alike.
They are 20th and 22nd in yards gained per game, 23rd and 24th in yards per play, 23rd and 24th in rushing yards per game, 10th and 12th in rushing yards per play, 17th and 18th in passing yards per game, 30th and 32nd in time of possession, and minus-2 in takeaways.
Granted, these are all fairly superficial metrics, and a deeper dive would show the differences you’d be looking for in a team on the far fringes of the playoffs and a team long eliminated.
Then again, the 49ers are trying to figure out where their future players lie, not whether they can go 3-13 or 2-14, so their statistics are not nearly so compelling. The Raiders were supposed to have figured all that out already, but have scored more than two touchdowns only twice in eight games, and the quarterbacks they face have a much better quarterback rating than Derek Carr, who is supposed to be a defining force in the league.
In short, these two teams have chosen similar methods to disappoint different fan bases in different ways. You knew what the 49ers would give you, had no idea what the Raiders had in store, but either way you are longing for something else to do with your weekends between now and New Year’s Day.
Maybe you can get back to watching the rest of the league implode, one billionaire at a time. Or the country, one subpoena at a time.